The Orion Gazette

August 23-August 27

School Calendar


Aug 26 4:30-5:30 School Site Council via zoom


Sep 2 Back to School Night 6:00-7:15 Virtual via Zoom for each classroom

Sep 6 Labor Day No School

Sep 8 Parent Participation Kindergarten University 5:00-6:00pm via zoom

Sep 9 Mandarin Immersion Kindergarten University 6:00-7:00pm via zoom

Sep 17 Picture Day for grades k-2

Sep 24 Picture Day for grades 3-5

A Message from Principal Katherine Rivera

Dear Families of Orion Alternative School,

The first week of school was a tremendous success. I would like to take this opportunity to share my feelings with you when I saw our children entering the campus building. It was a moment of delight and excitement! The campus was vibrant again with students’ cheerfulness. It seemed like they brought life back to campus and, thus this week we started our new school year with a wonderful and smooth start. The credit of this organized start goes to the entire staff, district operations team, and our dedicated parents and community.

A few important things to note are listed below.

Students School timings are:

Kindergarten: Every day, Monday-Friday (no early release on Thursdays for kindergarten)

Early Group 8:15-1:00

Late Group 9:15-2:00

Grades 1-2:

Warning bell 8:13

School begins at 8:15

Dismissal: 2:30

Grades 3-5

Warning bell 8:23

School begins 8:25

Dismissal at 2:40

Office Hours: Our Front office loves to help you. Please email and call to schedule an appointment with our office staff at 650-482-2406 or

If parents/guardians need to stop by the school a visitor health screening form will need to be completed before entering a building.

The office staff hours are 8:00 am-3:30 pm Monday-Friday. Phone messages are checked daily.

Communication: Please feel free to email Principal Katherine Rivera at daily or Assistant Principal Kathie Nguyen at on Mondays /Tuesdays for any questions, feedback, or a meeting. I believe in clear communication and would like to partner with you for the success of your child’s social-emotional and academic growth.

At this time, all meetings are virtual via Google Meet or Zoom.

The Orion School handbook has been prepared to provide a convenient reference for basic and essential information concerning the policies, procedures, and programs of the school. Bo


Principal Katherine Rivera

The California Department of Public Health and San Mateo County Public Health Department will continue to reassess and reevaluate our protocols and mandates as the school year continues. Our district website is updated daily, so please read for the latest updates.

Daily Health Forms

To start the year, all RCSD schools are a paper version of the daily health form. Our staff have extra copies in English and Spanish at drop off and pick up daily.

Soon we will move to an electronic version through the Powerschool Parent portal. Information will be shared in the near future with all families.

Orion School Welcomes New Teaching Staff this year

School Site Council

Thursday, Aug. 26th, 4:30pm

This is an online event.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 568 380 5514
Passcode: orion1
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,5683805514#,,,,*440073# US (San Jose)

All welcome to attend.

The agenda will be sent home early this week via email to families

Big picture

Proactive Rapid Antigen Screening Testing for all RCSD Employees and Students: Tuesdays (1:45-4:30) and Thursdays (1:45-3:30) located at Kennedy and Hoover

Families interested in participating will need to register with Primary Health, the provider that will administer the testing for the district, and accept and sign the parental consent form. Parents need to access the Primary Health Student registration form here to consent permission for testing. For your convenience, we have included here this Fact Sheet for Patients of Rapid Antigen Testing.

RCSD students participating in in-person learning will have the option to be tested for COVID-19 free of charge once the parent signs the parent consent form. Rapid test results will generally be available within one hour. Parents will receive a message when the test result is available for both negative and positive cases. If additional laboratory-based testing is needed, parents will be notified. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, parents will be advised to consult with the family’s healthcare provider. As a reminder, any student who experiences symptoms should not come to school.

Proactive Rapid Antigen Screening Testing for all RCSD Employees and Students:

Tuesdays (1:45-4:30) and Thursdays (1:45-3:30) located at Kennedy and Hoover

Big picture

Starship Update

Key Dates

8/28 School Social @ Pub in the Park

9/16 Starship PTO Meeting 7:30pm

9/17 Mid-Autumn Festival

9/24 Parent Coffee

Thank you to everyone who joined us on Sunday for our first Annual Maker Picnic on Sunday. It was a wonderful day with a fantastic turnout. Kids and families decorated rocks, wooden tiles and intention cards and decorated the sidewalks and fences with hearts. It was an amazing way to end the summer and celebrate the beginning of the new year. Ask your kids if they have noticed the friendship garden on campus!

We also enjoyed a great coffee this week after drop-offs. Parent Coffees are a great way to connect and get to know other families. We will have another coffee at Red Morton next month, join us!!

Here are a few key announcements and upcoming events. Please check out our website, we will try to keep all of our events and PTO information updated

School Social at RWC Pub in the Park August 28

Join us for a school social at Red Morton’s Pub in the Park. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for a picnic-style afternoon, with live music, lawn games and food trucks!

Donate to Starship PTO

See Flyer below for more detail about our Fundraising this year!

Your donations are how we are able to provide a more enriched educational experience for our students.

We suggest donation levels that fit your family's budget. We encourage families to be as generous as possible and donations in any amount are welcome and appreciated!

Paypal Link for Donations:

Yard Duty Volunteers and Traffic Volunteers Needed

To keep the drop-off and pick running smoothly and to support the playground during lunch and recess, parent volunteers are needed. Please notify Principal Katherine if you are interested in volunteering and please sign up on Konstella for the Safety Traffic Committee.

Volunteering on Campus

In addition to traffic and yard duty, this year we will need parent volunteers for the following programs when allowed under the San Mateo County Pandemic Framework for Schools.

Los Dichos: Spanish Heritage literature program

Art in Action: Art in class curriculum

STEAM projects: In a class or designed by our new STEAM TOSA

Garden: Manage garden and support teachers in utilizing space in curriculum planning

Please see Konstella for sign ups!

Parent volunteers must be cleared with the district to be alone with children. We recommend all parents obtain full volunteer clearance. Jennifer Sandoval at the District Office can check if you are cleared:

Here are the steps to getting cleared if you are not yet, or need TB test updating

Volunteer Requirements

We recommend all parents get cleared for volunteering, as the clearance stays with you until your last child leaves the district

Mid-Autumn Festival Twilight Gathering September 17th, 6-8 pm, Stafford Park:

Join our school-wide community for a gathering to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, a time-honored tradition that started over 2,000 years ago to mark the autumn harvest according to the Lunar calendar. Families will enjoy mooncakes and lanterns, and we'll also have craft supplies for kids to decorate lanterns. Feel free to bring a dinner picnic for yourselves, or individually packaged treats to share.

Join the fun at the 35th Annual Orion Campout 10/8-10/11, Memorial Park:

Join this fun weekend event getting to know other families in a beautiful natural setting. Bring your tent or trailer and camp a night or three, or just come for the day. Families are responsible for their own camping equipment and meals.

The campsite we have reserved has limited occupancy. If there are more sign-ups than spots available, we will hold a lottery. Fifth-grade families will be given priority if it is their family's last year at Orion/MI

Detailed information and payment information will be forwarded to the families who have gotten spots. A waitlist will be established for those who do not win a spot in the lottery. Payments for the campout will be collected once a final list is established.

Sign-ups due September 16th:

QUESTIONS: Tanaya Mills - - 650-430-9320

Remember, all parents, teachers, and staff are automatically members of Starship. Please join us at our monthly PTO meetings and share your voice! Any questions or ideas, email us at

Have a great weekend!

Big picture

Back to School Night - Thursday September 2 6:00-7:15

Thursday, Sep. 2nd, 6-7:15pm

This is an online event.

Teachers will host Back to School Night via Zoom. The slide decks from each classroom presentation will be shared by the classroom teacher via email with families following the event.

The link to Back to School for each classroom will be shared the week of August 30.